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Continued Enhancement at WorldFish

posted Jun 21, 2017, 6:02 AM by Caroline Nzui   [ updated Jun 21, 2017, 6:09 AM ]

By Patric Lim

WorldFish Head Office conducted a Finance Leadership Workshop on 9-12 August 2016 with a focus on financial management and capacity building for managers. The OCS team was invited to brief the staff on system functionality and processes including: Travel, Fixed Assets, Exchange Rate Enquiry, Procurement, Invoice, Sales Order, Journals, and Project Lifecycle Management. 

Participants pose for a group photo

During these sessions, the participants were given an opportunity to discuss system process enhancements with the OCS experts. One of the major requests was to simplify the existing system workflows which required multiple layers of approval before transactions could proceed to the next stage. Also raised was the issue of seemingly over-engineered and redundant reports that were too complicated and confusing for the users. The Director of Finance and Operations, Jamie Craig, (who is also the current Chair of the WorldFish OCS Governance Board) has agreed to set both these areas as the improvement priorities for the OCS team in 2017.

OCS and Finance team members share a meal

Additionally, a revised Project Lifecycle Management (PLM) process was introduced during the fourth quarter of 2016. Before implementation, users tended to skip several mandatory system processes before an agreement was signed by the donor. This has raised issues on data accuracy in OCS and had a negative effect on decision-making processes. To resolve this, the OCS team, together with the Research Support Hub, have introduced a simplified process which now incorporates the missing steps. Using the OCS “forms” functionality, more comprehensive information can be presented to the correct approvers from the beginning of the lifecycle. In addition, by automating record creation, the effort required by users to complete each stage of the cycle has been reduced.

In November 2016, WorldFish Business Experts gathered together to test OCS Milestone 6 – Web. Overall response was positive, though several show stoppers were identified. The team is already working on these and the plan is to go live with Milestone 6 in the first quarter of 2017.